nautilis: are you an axolotl
Reviewed by sheikh ahmed (absorb.org)
with a name like skyler mcglothlin and hailing from the ever so un-techno state of texas, you'd expect his calling to be country and western. but no, continuing to ever confound us with their manifesto, mike paradinas' planet mu imprint bring us yet another electronic oddball. it's got it all; electro-fried ambience, cut up glitch-hop, frazzled raps and even a couple of lounge and jazz numbers. so the question one must ask is how does all this diversity hold together....
opener 'mofpex' perfectly illustrates his scatter-brained approach where the track shifts from one mood to another before eventually settling on vocal harmonics and crunchy hip-hop beats. 'polyphonix tronix scapegoat' is excellent but way, way too short. the vocal refrain of "polyphonix tronix sonix bubonic chronic scapegoat....motherfucker!" proving particularly memorable for this reviewer. the jazz numbers appear most effectively in the middle; skyler crooning on 'it's lonely in the street' and the more sublime 'wednesday afternoon'.
'j222' and 'hoax' twitters and tweets like all the best afx moments, the latter getting funky in it's closing phases. the best is saved for last where the album slows down a tad and the more intricate aspects of nautilis' repertoire reveal themselves. 'drumpedal remix' is wonderfully melancholic, the twee melodies and subtle percussion working well in harmony. final goodbye of 'why it got to be so damn tough' is simply gorgeous but, again, too short.
a startling debut, no doubt. the case of attention defecit disorder that nautilis seems to have is to our advantage and results in an album with a wide scope. but within each style, he's managed to retain a healthy dose of creativity. complaints? yeah, there are some. the same short attention span has meant that some tracks could have benefitted from having a slightly longer running time. to allow ideas to develop.
still, not sure what an axolotl is exactly, but i think i'd like to be one.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay